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Man acquitted of ‘O4 shooting death in N. Phila

Philadelphia Daily News

A 27-year old man was acquitted of first-degree murder Monday in a case that the defense portrayed as being riddled with errors and oversights.
“The case was just an absolute mess,” defense attorney Mike Diamondstein said yesterday. Diamondstein said jurors took just over an hour to clear Yusef Bey, of North Philadelphia, of murdering James McDonald of July 4, 2004. Bey was accused of pumping 11 bullets into McDonald as the victim walked down 35th Street in North Philadelphia.

Diamondstein’s first words to jurors during his opening statement last week were, “They got the wrong guy. It’s not him.” He said the investigation into the murder had been “haphazard, sloppy, pathetic.” “There’s one eyewitness in this case….she’s got it wrong,” he said. “She’s got the wrong guy.”

Diamondstein said one of the foul-ups in the case occurred when a homicide detective -trying to link Bey to the victim’s neighborhood -mistakenly showed a witness a photo of another man, not Bey. After that man was picked out of the photo array, the detective maintained that the photo was of Bey, when it wasn’t.

By: Staff Writer